Over the past several years, the ability of companies to more accurately track workers' hours has become a major focus, because when it comes to maximizing efficiency, having the right data at your fingertips is vital. With this in mind, more companies are adopting ERP software solutions that automate the timekeeping process and make it easier to glean data from the information employees put into the system.

The fact is that the developments made in ERP in general over the past few years have been significant, allowing companies to gather a lot more data on an ongoing basis that they can then put to better use going forward, according to a report from Diginomica. Because companies are collecting more and, better data in a range of operational areas – including using a time tracker to monitor employee hours – each piece of information can better inform decisions in other aspects of a company. For instance, that can allow companies to streamline workers' shifts so they're always working at peak functionality without necessarily having more people than they need on the job floor at any given time.

Why is that helpful?
Specifically, as it relates to man hours and how efficiently employees are deployed, there are some things that can show up in Dynamics NAV Time Collection data that might not be noticed by even the most vigilant human observer overseeing and manually entering information from timesheets into a computer, the report said. Further, use of these systems can free up man hours that would be spent filling out those sheets for employees, or entering and interpreting that data for executives.

Real-world application
ERP for the manufacturing industry can pay off in a big way, but it speaks to the power these systems have that other types of organizations can also benefit from adopting it, according to Austin, Texas, television station KXAN. In the Lone Star State's capital, city workers have been using a physical timesheet system for nearly two decades, and people representing its roughly 14,000 employees recently called for an automation of the process earlier this year.

Austin is the only one of Texas's five largest cities that does not use any sort of automatic time tracking, the report said. The reason it has so far dragged its feet on this issue is that implementing it could be more expensive than it would like, and take many man hours to set up. However, it has hired an outside consultant to look into the feasibility of this type of ERP system. Meanwhile, one worker at the Austin Police Department said a 26-person department generated 155 pages of time sheets each week before any changes and corrections are made to the data entered.

The more companies can do to look into their options in this regard can not only reduce waste, but also bring manufacturers more options to streamlining their operations and improving their bottom lines.

Learn more about the benefits of automated time collection by downloading the free white paper entitled "Justifying the Switch to Automated Time Collection" from Insight Works.